National Libraries Week – Your Virtual Library

With so much available electronically, the virtual space occupied by library resources is huge! Today’s blog is going to focus on the gateway to these resources: our new library website.

We launched this new site in September 2018, and it is a hub for you to find all of your library resources, your library account, and information about borrowing and visiting the library. We also highlight services for disabled users, researchers, and those studying away from campus.

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Searching for books, journals and other resources

We’ve tried to make it easier for you to find resources.

The basic search on the homepage does what it says on the tin! Enter your search term and select an option.

If you’re confident with searching, or want some more advanced options, the ‘more ways to search’ section underneath gives you access to our A-Z lists of Databases, eJournals and the Digital Library, as well as a direct link to Advanced Search via Summon.

Use the ‘Find Resources’ menu to find out more about these resources, as well as some of the specialist ones, such as printed music.

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Managing your account

On the home page you’ll find quick links to your library account and paying charges.

Under ‘services and support’ you’ll find information about borrowing, including how to reset your PIN.

Supporting you using the library

On the home page you’ll find a link to our referencing guides, including the full Harvard guide which you can use online or download. We’ve also supplied one for screen readers.

There’s also links where you can book a tutorial with a subject specialist librarian, as well as a link to book a study room in Curzon Library.

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We hope you enjoy the new site!

^Laura

Celebrating National Libraries Week 2018: Can a book exchange improve mental health?

 

The theme for Libraries Week, 8–13 October is wellbeing, providing libraries with a chance to celebrate how they are supporting their community.

At the Mary Seacole Library, City South Campus, there is a great initiative running, a Book Exchange. Resources and a space for reading for pleasure have been provided. A chat with the Library Advisor working on this project outlined how the Exchange is set-up, how it can support students and staff to take time out of their busy lives, to relax, and in so doing improve their mental health through the simple act of reading.

What is the Book Exchange?

“It is a collection of fiction and non-fiction books that have been donated by staff and students who no longer want them but really want to share the pleasure of reading with others. Library colleagues set it up and I now have the pleasure of taking it on.”

Where is the Book Exchange?

“You can find it on the right hand side, immediately on entering through the Mary Seacole Library security gates. It has recently been relocated to this position to ensure more people see it, and get to enjoy the collection. Over the summer the books have been reorganised by genre and the collection was expanded.”

How can reading help with people’s mental wellbeing?

“It has been shown that reading can provide relaxation, motivation to learn, knowledge of other cultures, improvements in self-esteem, reduce symptoms of depression, increase empathy, improve communication and also help with creativity and imagination.”

The types of books in the Book Exchange?

“All sorts. Romantic fiction, historical fiction, crime, mystery, thriller, assorted popular fiction…lots.”

If I want to borrow a book from the Exchange what do I need to do?

“Just take a book off the Book Exchange shelves if you fancy it. You don’t need your borrower card. Just take it away. When you finish with it simply hand it in at the Library Helpdesk or place it on the Book Exchange shelves and staff will sort them.”

Can anyone donate books they’ve finished with?

“Absolutely. All books are welcomed. Just bring them to the Help Desk in the library or pop them on the Book Exchange shelves.”

What are your hopes this year for the Book Exchange?

“For students I really hope taking time away from studying, (where possible), to read a book on a completely different subject, will help to benefit their mental health and wellbeing in general. A lovely bit of down time.”

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So, if you want to relax, get back in to reading, or maybe be adventurous and try a new genre, then come on down to City South. Grab a free book today and take yourself off to a different world for a little while…. Happy reading! Happy improved wellbeing!

Check out the Reading Agency too for more information about reading well for mental health.

^Posted on behalf of Fid Bleasdale, Library Advisor

Golden Ticket Hunt 2018

Welcome to the new academic year. It’s time to go on a Golden Ticket hunt!

Starting Monday 17th September for 3 weeks, Golden Tickets will be hidden in our BCU Libraries. Each Golden Ticket found wins a prize!

Each day check for any photo clues posted on our social media sites, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to help you find out where each Golden Ticket is hidden!

The competition runs from Monday 17th September to Friday 5th October.

You’ve got to be in it to win it…so follow our social media sites today to be ready to get hunting from the 17th!

Good luck.

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Digimap updates

From Wednesday 1st August 2018 all the Digimap Collections (except Aerial & Lidar Digimap) started new licences.  This means that the first time you log in to Digimap after this date you will need to agree to the new licences before you can access the service.

This is a standard process that happens only once a year. It is a simple additional step to the login process and does not involve re-registering any of your details. Login to Digimap as usual and follow the prompts. You will need to agree to new licences for each Collection.

All your saved maps and data download history will remain accessible and unaffected by this process.

Jewellery Quarter Festival 2018: Unearthing BCU’s gem!

The wonderful annual JQFestival is fast approaching, celebrating all that is great about Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Well, did you know Birmingham City University, (BCU) has a School of Jewellery right in the heart of this area? It is located on Vittoria Street, No’s 82-86, not too far from the Golden Square. A recent visit to the School’s library, to become more familiar with the service and its stock, enabled me to unearth some gems of information on the rich educational history of the building.

During the late 19th century Birmingham’s jewellery trade grew. Consequently there was a demand for technical education in craft skills. In response, in 1888, the Birmingham Jewellers’ and Silversmiths’ Association and the Municipal School of Art began delivery of classes at the Ellen Street School to the west of the Quarter. It proved so popular that in 1890 oversubscription meant a move to the current Vittoria Street premises. Built in c 1865, on the former rear garden of No. 30 Frederick Street, the Venetian Gothic building had been acquired by William Randle for his goldsmith’s manufactory. Over time the building has been extended to meet need, most notably in 1911/12 and 1992/3.

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